The Moulin Rouge and Black Rights in Las Vegas: A History of the First Racially Integrated Hotel-Casino

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Overview

The Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino is easily overlooked by modern-day visitors to the Las Vegas strip. Originally opened in May 1955, it quickly rose in popularity as the city's first racially-integrated hotel and casino. Sammy Davis Jr., Louis Armstrong, and other A-list black singers and musicians performed at the Moulin Rouge on a regular basis, and for once they were allowed to spend the night in the same Las Vegas hotel where they performed. Sadly, the Moulin Rouge fell from fame almost as quickly as it had risen, closing its doors in November of 1955 and filing for bankruptcy only a month later. For the next several decades, the Moulin Rouge stood largely abandoned, until a devastating May 2003 fire left the hotel's signature marquee standing sad but stoic in front of the fenced-in remains of the historic hotel.

This book is an original and comprehensive work of scholarship on the history of the Moulin Rouge, explaining the important role that the hotel-casino played in early desegregation efforts in Las Vegas. It addresses the many contributions that the Moulin Rouge made in transforming Las Vegas into a truly cosmopolitan city, while describing the painful journey that blacks in Las Vegas have taken in an effort to achieve equal rights from the Jim Crow era to the present day. With the Moulin Rouge as the backdrop, it provides an overall analysis of the evolution of race-relations in Las Vegas, including a detailed account of the landmark desegregation agreement which was made at a 1960 meeting between Las Vegas hotel owners, black leaders, and government officials—at the then-closed Moulin Rouge. Finally, it examines recent efforts to rebuild and renovate the historicestablishment.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786439928
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/15/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 227
  • Sales rank: 1,062,333
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Earnest N. Bracey is a retired Army lieutenant colonel and is a professor of political science and African American history at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas.

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Table of Contents

Preface 11

Introduction 15

1 In the Beginning 23

2 The Inevitability of Interracial Socialization in Las Vegas 31

3 The Main Event 39

4 After the Lights and Fanfare 47

5 The New Business Acquisition 55

6 The Persistence of Cultural, Racial and Religious Barriers 63

7 The Desegregation Agreement 69

8 Hot Times in the City 79

9 Blacks Need Not Apply Here 87

10 The Black Political Revolution in Las Vegas 93

11 The Significance of Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement 103

12 A Lack of Economic Security and Opportunity 111

13 The End of an Era 119

14 The Power Brokers and a Raw Deal 125

15 Economic Discrimination and Education 131

16 A Dream Deferred Forever 137

17 The Beginning of the End 143

18 The Walls Come Tumbling Down 149

19 The New Black Entrepreneurs 157

20 Reflections on a Place and Time 167

Conclusion 175

Postscript 183

Chapter Notes 187

Bibliography 211

Index 219

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